Ottawa

Glasses raised for U.S.-Canada relations at July 4th party amid trade tensions

The U.S. Ambassador to Canada's Fourth of July party is always one of the hot-ticket invitations of the year for Ottawa's political set. But this year some high-profile invitees — including the Mayor of Ottawa — chose not to attend because of the trade tariff dispute going on between the two countries.

'What better friends through the years than Canada and the United States?' ambassador says

The guest list included about 1,000 people. Under Craft's Obama-era predecessor, Bruce Heyman, the guest list to the annual event had grown to more than 4,000 people. (CBC News)

The U.S. Ambassador to Canada's Fourth of July party is always one of the hot-ticket invitations of the year for Ottawa's political set.

But this year some high-profile invitees — including the Mayor of Ottawa — chose not to attend because of the trade tariff dispute going on between the two countries.

However, for Orléans MP Andrew Leslie, the government's parliamentary secretary for U.S.-Canada relations, that wasn't a reason to stay home from the Ambassador's official residence, called Lornado, in Rockliffe Park Wednesday night.

"My philosophy is, it's always better to talk. Yes, of course there are some difficulties, and let's talk our way through them," he said.

"These people are our friends. We fought alongside each other, we've worked together, we play together."

Liberal MP Andrew Leslie, the government's parliamentary secretary for U.S.-Canada relations, said he believes it's better to show up and talk than boycott events like this. (CBC News)

'An enduring partnership,' ambassador says

In her speech, U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft paid tribute to the years of friendship between the U.S. and Canada.

She quoted Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence: "I have never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend."

"By your presence here tonight," Craft continued, "I would assert that we all agree with Jefferson on that fundamental point of friendship. And what better friends through the years than Canada and the United States?

U.S. ambassador raises bourbon toast at July 4th party

4 years ago
Duration 1:26
Music, bourbon and American pride were on display at the U.S. ambassador's annual Fourth of July party in Ottawa.

"Just as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were lifelong rivals that, in the end, became a duo defined by respect and friendship, just as Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton never agreed to much, except in the end put the interests of the new nation ahead of their own differences, so too, Canada and the United States have an enduring partnership that I am confident will stand the test of time," she said.

"And believe me, these are testing times ... but this is one test that gets a lot easier with a sip of good old Kentucky Bourbon. So let's raise a glass to what is genuinely a wonderful friendship."

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the products on Canada's list of retaliatory tariffs.

Read into that what you will.

The Tenors from Victoria, B.C., performed at the event.
This well-mustachioed man was serving Kentucky Bourbon at the party. It's one of the products on Canada's list of retaliatory tariffs. (CBC News)
Here's some of the food that was being served. (CBC News)
U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft told guests that Canada and the U.S. 'have an enduring partnership that I am confident will stand the test of time.' (CBC News)
A security staffer keeps watch. (CBC News)

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